Need to Know: A Novel
by Karen Cleveland
Hardcover- $13.97

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect husband. Perfect father. Perfect liar?

“Terrific.”—John Grisham
“Superb.”—Lee Child
...

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  "Suspenseful!" by Betty56 (see profile) 02/14/18

Vivian Miller is happily married and an average mother of four small children. But her job is not so average. She is a CIA analyst whose job it is to locate the ringleaders of some Russian sleeper cells in the US. She has developed an algorithm to hopefully identify Russian agents living among us. She loves her work but feels guilty being away from her children. Fortunately her husband Matt can work from home so he watches the children. Then one day she uncovers information that will totally rock her world and make her question who she can trust. At risk is her job, her marriage, and the life of her children.

 
  "Fun to Know it was written by a CIA Analyst" by pauline (see profile) 07/08/18

Makes me think some of the scenes of how the office is structured are real. And I thought how the character just wanted to go back to her normal life were very well portrayed. Read in one sitting on a great summer afternoon.

 
  "This story is hard to believe, but should make for a decent discussion about marriage." by tompatrice (see profile) 07/21/18

Hard to swallow. If this is a typical CIA agent, I have even more reason to lose sleep at night worrying about our country. The book is certainly a page turner, and the author knows how to keep the suspense going, but I’m not buying the “heroine's” (and I use the term lightly) complete and utter gullibility.

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/29/18

 
  "Uninspiring and disappointing" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 09/12/18

Need to know, Karen Cleveland, author; Mia Barron, narrator
This book was so highly recommended to me by a friend that I decided to listen to it while on a long drive from New England to Florida. It was a huge disappointment. Written by a former CIA agent, it was touted as a fantastic thriller. Instead, it was nothing more than the story of a gullible woman who indulges in constant soul searching and consistently makes ridiculous decisions. Her constant refrain is “what have I done”? After awhile, I wanted to simply tell her that she had done the same thing she did the last time she asked herself that same question. She was guilt ridden, but she never learned from her mistakes and moved on. If she is an example of our CIA agents, we are in trouble. Her decisions were impulsive and disloyalty seemed to come naturally to her. She was a weak example of a supposedly, strong woman.
Vivian was an analyst working on Russian sleeper cells. After ten years of marriage she discovers secrets about her husband that shock her. Yet, as the book continues, she reveals the many warning signs she had ignored, signs that an agent should have easily recognized. As a Central Intelligence analyst, she is depicted as woefully naïve. She lies with abandon and always protests that the behavior is unusual for her, yet she does it repeatedly. She is very easily manipulated and very self-absorbed. She blames her poor choices on her devotion to her family, which is supposed to excuse her reprehensible behavior.
The message of the book seems to be that a woman would go to any lengths to protect her family even if it meant that bodies would pile up as a consequence of her decisions. It also seems to indicate that our intelligence service could be easily compromised and outsmarted by the Russians. They select their targets, discover their weaknesses, design long term goals, and have an enormous amount of patience. They are also very good at roleplaying.
The narrator was way too emotional in her presentation. She read too slowly, created too much melodrama and inserted herself into the story, leading it, rather than letting the story lead her reading. The characters became caricatures of themselves.

 
  "need to know" by Carolynr (see profile) 03/11/19

this is a quick easy read and an excellent spy thriller! not usually what I like to read but was thoroughly entertained by this!

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/17/19

Best book I’ve read in a while!

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/21/19

 
  "" by Zanardi (see profile) 06/06/19

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